Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign PDF Print E-mail

 

 

Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign
27 November 2017
Bergsig Community Hall, Springbok

Programme Director
Members of the Executive Council
Members of the Provincial Legislature
Executive Mayors and Councillors
Members of SAPS
Members of Civil Society
Government officials
Members of the Media
Ladies and gentlemen


This year has been declared the year of OR Tambo in honour of this great leader of the ANC’s heroic contribution to the liberation of the South African people and more specifically his role in championing the cause of women’s emancipation. Oliver Tambo was more than just a leader of the nation but was a man who fought tirelessly for the emancipation of women in a multitude of ways.



When the ANC formally endorsed the Youth League and O.R Tambo was President, he made it clear to all members that all the young women in the struggle shared the same rights and dignity as their male counterparts and ensured that this was a fundamental matter of principle and not only a code of conduct. He once stated that, "We are not fighting against people; we are fighting against a system." This during that time rang true, that we are indeed fighting against a system that seeked to hold one sex superior to another.

Dames en Here
, dit is weereens daardie tyd van die jaar wanneer ons bymekaar kom om ons steun aan hierdie veldtog toe te sê. Hierdie veldtog het oor die jare vinnig momentum opgedoen om ons stemme te laat hoor. Dit is ook 'n tyd wat ons moet besin oor die impak sedert ons verlede jaar bymekaar gekom het. Terwyl ek dit doen, wil ek hê dat u uself moet afvra wat u as burgerlike samelewing gedoen het om 'n positief by te dra tot die veldtog van geen geweld teen vroue en kinders. In teendeel ons moet besin oor die samewlewing waarin ons wil lewe en een wat sal tot voordeel wees vir almal, mans vroue en kinders.

Soos u nou al moet bewus behoort te wees, is die 16 dae van Aktivisme-veldtog oor geweld teen vroue en kinders 'n veldtog van die Verenigde Nasies. Dit vind jaarliks plaas vanaf 25 November wat 'n Internasionale Dag van Geweld teen Vroue is. Hierdie veldtog duur tot 10 Desember wat ook bekend staan as die Internasionale Menseregtedag.

Die tydperk van die veldtog val saam met die herdenking van die Wêreldvigsdag op 1 Desember en die Internasionale Dag van Persone met Gestremdhede op 3 Desember. Dit laat ons toe om te fokus op die verband tussen seksuele geweld en die verspreiding van MIV-infeksie sowel as voorvalle van mishandeling ondervind deur persone met gestremdhede.

Tydens die afgelope jaar het Suid-Afrika in die algemeen, maar ook die Noord-Kaap Provinsie, verskriklike gevalle van vroue en kindermishandeling gesien. Die meeste slagoffers van hierdie misdade het mishandeling aan die hande van familielede, geliefdes en naasbestaandes ervaar. Om agter die kern van hierdie problem in ons gemeenskappe te kom het die President van ons land, Mnr Jacob Zuma verlede jaar in Limpopo  die Nasionale en  Provinsiale Dialoë oor geweld teen vroue en kinders geloods. Die Dialoë was voorgestel om die regering te help om die aard en oorsake van geweld teen vroue en kinders te verstaan, om die vorm van  intervensie te identifiseer en om  in vennootskap met belanghebbendes te tree.

Die Provinsie het hierdie jaar in samewerking met die Departement van Vroue, dialoë regoor die Provinsie gehou.  Hierdie dialoë het 'n platform vir ons geskep om met gemeenskappe te praat oor geweld teen vroue en kinders. Dit was ook'n platform wat ‘n geleentheid gegee het aan slagoffers en oortreders van geweld teen vroue en kinders om te kyk na die faktore wat lei tot hierdie geweld en saam oplossings te vind. ‘n Totaal van oor die een duisend vier honderd  gemeenskapslede is bereik  deur hierdie dialoë.

As ‘n Regering voel ons dat beide ons en gemeenskapslede het baat gevind by hierdie program.  Dit het tyd geword dat ons in een stem moet sê dat genoeg is genoeg en nie meer sal ons in stilte ly nie. Dit sal ook toelaat dat ons dogters nie meer slagoffers word van die omstandighede waarin ons ons bevind nie en ons kan ‘n stop daaraan sit.
Ladies and gentlemen, with the recent release of the crime statistics of the Province, we have noted that the total sexual offences have decreased.  This however still remains an indictment on the life of the victim and as Government we call on especially men to lead the charge against protecting our women and children against these heinous acts.

Government has added its voice and in a bid to rid our society of this scourge; has since March this year, called for an urgent intervention to stop violence against women, children and vulnerable people. To this end we have made significant strides in mobilizing communities to act against crime and violence. I am pleased to announce that our call has been heard and I am sure it will be heeded. We have as an immediate intervention established, organized and duly elected Men’s Forums in all Districts of our Province as well as a provincial structure.

The men of these forums have boldly declared that not in their name will violence and crime be committed. We will henceforth deepen our social crime prevention initiatives by tightening the content of our community mobilisation and messaging. The Provincial government has also implemented a “Thursdays in Black campaign” where we call on men and women in the Province to wear black on Thursdays as a response to Gender Based Violence.

I want to encourage and urge society to acknowledge that violence against women and children is NOT a government or criminal justice system problem, but a societal problem, and that failure to view it as such results in all efforts failing to eradicate this scourge in our communities. We must ensure mass mobilisation of all communities to promote collective responsibility in the fight to eradicate violence against women and children. 

We need a renewal of the mind. This attitude that we sometimes hold in our communities that “twee mense se goed word nie in gegaan nie” must come to an end. This normalisation of violence that is reinforced by the notion that: they will get back together again tomorrow and be “all in love again”. We must ask ourselves this critical question wherever we encounter this attitude: Is this not the day that he is going to kill her? Let us not live with the regret of not doing something when the opportunity arose to avoid the death of innocent. Let us be proactive in dealing with this violence, when we encounter it.
Many of these crimes also have as their basis alcohol and drug abuse. I need to know from you whether alcohol is the only form of indulgence. Is your joy truly complete at the bottom of a bottle of alcohol? There has been found that higher rates of acute alcohol intoxication report stronger relationships between alcohol use and violence than those where drinking occurs more moderately. Let not the misguided enthusiasm of one’s youth rob one of a future that is filled with many opportunities.

Dames en Here, ek moet ook noem dat dit nie alles so waanhopig is nie. Ons moet ook erken dat onder die ANC beheerde Regering het ons merkwaardige vordering gemaak in die bevordering van vroue en kinderregte. Ons het merkwaardige vordering gemaak in die bewusmaking van hierdie veldtog, maar veel meer kan en moet gedoen word en dit begin in die huis waar ouers die voorbeeld moet stel.

Ons moet ons jong seuns en mans leer hoe ‘n vrou behandel behoort te word. Ons moet ook ons dogters leer wat dit beteken om ‘n dame te wees. Ons moet ten alle tye wedersydse respek vir mekaar aan kweek en te bevorder.

Dit is verblydend om op te let dat meer en meer mans betrokke raak by die bevordering en beskerming van vroue en kinderregte.  Hierdie mans verdien ‘n spesiale plek in ons harte en ek wil almal teenwoordig aanmoedig om net die voorbeeld wat daargestel is na te volg nie, maar ook om dit wyd en suid te verkondig en te beoefen.

Aan die voorfront van hierdie veldtog is die belangrikheid om vroue as eweknie en as ons gelyke te aanvaar. Want slegs dan sal mans ons vroue respekteer en met deernis en menslikheid behandel. Die ander been van ons strategie is om bewusmaking van geweld teen vroue en kinders op te skerp en te verkondig.

Ek moet dit ook benadruk dat terwyl ons die regte van vroue en jong dames bevorder moet ons nie die jong seuns en mans in die proses verloor nie. Ons fokus moet dus wees om vroue regte te bevorder, maar nie ten koste van die regte van die seunkind. En dit begin juis hier by die seun. As ons die denkwyse van die seun op ‘n ryp jong onderdom kan positief beinvloed, dan is die stryd al half oorwin. So ons toenadering tot die problem moet een wees van diversiteit en inklusiwiteit.
Ek is vreeslik opgewonde  dat hierdie jaar tydens die veldtog in die Namakwa streek, sal 41 huise aan begunstigdes oorhandig word. Omdat vroue in die meeste gevalle slagoffers van geweld en misdaad is, is hierdie huise gebou ten ere van vroue maar ook om bewustheid te skep rondom hierdie ewel wat woed in ons gemeenskape.

Dit sal daarom die geval wees dat die oorgrote meerdeerheid,  van die begunstigdes, vroue is en dit is iets waarop ons trots moet wees. Dit beteken nie dat die mans van hierdie gebied nou tersyde gestoot word nie, dit is slegs ter bevordering van die veldtog en ek doen ‘n beroep op mans om ons te ondersteun in hierdie veldtog. Onder die begunstigdes is daar ook 1 persoon wat ‘n gestremde is.

Ons is ook in die proses en sal binnekort 'n Wit deur (veilige huis), hier in Bergsig vir die gemeenskap open. Dit is 'n tydelike ingryping en die idee is om oornag beskermingsfasiliteite te bied sowel as praktiese ondersteuning aan die slagoffers tot tyd en weil hulle na die toepaslike diensverskaffers verwys word vir verdere slagoffer bemagtigings intervensies soos traumaberading, skuilingsdienste, mediese en regshulp.

Ladies and gentlemen, let this period not be about empty rhetoric. During this period, we need to ask ourselves the question, what it is that we can do as community members but as men in particular in order to make our homes and our communities safer. We can start by making our mothers, our wives, our sisters, our daughters and our neighbours aware of legislation that has been put in place by this ANC-led Government to protect those to whom we owe our being. Legislation such as the Domestic Violence Act that seeks to protect those that suffers from abusive partners. The law is also not limited to those that are married, but also extends to those that live together or are in a relationship.

Apart from spearheading knowledge and information on legislation; there is a lot more that we can do to fight abuse and violence. Since 1994, Government has also implemented and supported many interventions that protect the human dignity of women and children.

As government we remain committed to strengthen partnerships and collaboration with NGOs, community based organisations, civil society, community leaders and faith-based organisations in ensuring the best interests of women and children and in making everyday a safe and violence-free day.

From today, those who inflict violence on others will know they are being isolated and cannot count on other men to protect them. From now on all men will hear the call to assume their responsibility for solving this problem. That call goes out from here to men in every walk of life.

I am optimistic that working together, men and women, side by side, we will create that society where, women can walk freely in the street and children can play safely outside with no fear of being attacked. Let us continue to speak against this scourge and build on the successes of the last few years. Let us continue to have “many voices, one message that says, “Not in my name: Together moving a non-violent South Africa forward!”

I thank you